Pil Pil Prawns

Yes, 9 cloves is a lot of garlic, yes the sauce is very oily, but it is beautiful to look at and eat, trust me. This recipe we used to cook in my pub a few years ago and was a real hit. Its also nice eaten cold as a sort of tapas.

I think its best cooked, cooled and chilled and eaten the next day, all the flavours develop really well, if you can wait that is once you smell this cooking! This sauce can be used also with pork, chicken and all fish.

Pil Pil PrawnsIngredients

  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 9 cloves garlic, yes 9 peeled, finely chopped
  • 75mls olive oil
  • ┬╝tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 heaped tbsp smoked paprika
  • 60g palm sugar or soft brown sugar
  • 4 limes, juice of
  • salt
  • freshly milled black pepper
  • 20 freshwater prawns, peeled and deveined
  • steamed rice to serve


  1. Heat the oil and add the onions, chilli, garlic and cook for 10 minutes to soften well.
  2. Add the paprika and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, do not burn.
  3. Next add the palm sugar, lime juice, salt and pepper, turn down the heat and reduce the total volume of the liquid and onions by roughly half.
  4. Taste the sauce and adjust if you think you have to. It should have a nice balance of sweet and sour.
  5. When you are ready to serve up, bring the sauce to the simmer, then drop in the prawns and cook for 3-4 minutes in total. They will turn from opaque to light pink, do not over cook.
  6. Serve the prawns in small bowls, with a little steamed rice.



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